Chicken is a key ingredient in IAMS™ cat food. Its protein can help maintain healthy muscle structure, and it naturally provides each of the amino acids essential to carnivorous animals. And chicken adds great taste.
What Chicken Ingredients are Used in Cat Foods?
- Common chicken ingredients include chicken, chicken meal, chicken by-product meal, and chicken fat.
- Chicken is flesh and skin without internal organs or feathers.
- Chicken meal includes flesh, skin, and bone that have been cleaned, dried, cooked, and ground.
- Chicken by-product meal is flesh, skin, and internal organs, including intestines and bone, that has been cleaned, dried, cooked, and ground.
- Chicken fat, a high-quality energy source, provides essential fatty acids that help support skin and coat health.
What Is Natural Chicken Flavor?
Another common chicken-based ingredient is natural chicken flavor, also called chicken digest. Natural chicken flavor adds palatability and nutrients. It is high-quality protein and fat material that has been reduced to amino and fatty acids to improve taste through an enzymatic process.
Why Are Internal Organs and Bone Included in Chicken By-product Meal?
Internal organs are a rich source of protein, fats, and minerals, such as iron, that are essential to cat health and they add a taste that cats enjoy. Including some ground bone provides a good source of minerals, such as calcium. Some pet food manufacturers formulate their products without such ingredients to appeal to cat owners, rather than for the health of the cats themselves. However, the nutritional needs of cats are not the same as those of humans.
The IAMS Difference
Dried (meal) chicken protein sources contained in our chicken-based cat foods, such as IAMS ProActive Health™ Healthy Adult - Chicken, undergo an extra refining process and contain each of the amino acids that are essential to cats.
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Cats are known for being a bit choosey about what they will and won’t do. And a little pickiness is fine when it comes to picking out toys and napping spots! But if your cat is or becomes extra-selective about what they’ll eat, it’s time to pay attention and perhaps talk to your vet. You and your vet know your cat best, so it’s always worth checking in if you think your cat isn’t eating enough and want their professional advice.
Start by paying close attention to what your cat is eating and how they behave. This information will help you, your household and your vet work together to make sure your cat is living and eating well.
Feeding Tips for the Truly Finicky Cat
Pay Attention to All the Cat Treats
Is your cat begging for table scraps or holding out on eating until you offer treats? Extras like these can be very disruptive to your cat’s appetite and diet. Think about them like snacks or desserts for you — tasty cravings that are easy to fill up on. A small portion may not seem like much, but it can make a big different for a cat-sized digestive system!
Try dialing back how much you treat your cat to tasty extras and see if their interest in the food bowl starts to return. Remember, it’s generally all right for cats to skip a few meals, but if they haven’t eaten for 24-36 hours it’s time to call the vet (even if they’ve continued drinking water).
Review Your Cat’s Food Routine
Humans often crave variety in their meals, but for cats, routine is king. It’s not likely they’d avoid their regular food out of boredom with it, but if you’ve recently changed the kind of food, the number of feedings or the times you feed your cat, they may be avoiding eating as a response.
It's a good idea to change your cat’s diet gradually (unless your vet advises otherwise). Pickiness can often be resolved by helping your cat adjust and get comfortable with their updated diet!
Help Your Cat Relax While Feeding
If your cat starts eating less, you may want to look for factors that could be causing stress. Seemingly unrelated changes to their environment can shift your cat’s stress levels enough to impact their interest in food. Has another animal or person joined or left the household? Has your cat been adapting to new surroundings due to a move or renovation? As the stress of that change begins to subside, your cat will probably go back to a normal diet.
Talk to your vet about good ideas for reducing your cat’s stress levels and share any concerns you have about their diet then too. You’re both on the same team, so work together to help your cat feel better!
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